Event Description


The conference will provide participants with valuable insight on the current state and prospect of the Spanish economy.

Prominent business leaders from the United States and Spain will come together for the event, including top executives from the public and private sectors, financial analysts, and representatives from the academic and government spheres.

Keynote address by Irene Lozano, Secretary of State for Global Spain, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation.

Program of the Event

8:00 a.m. Registration
8:30 a.m. Welcome Remarks

Alan D. Solomont. Chairman, Spain-U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Former United States Ambassador to Spain and Andorra

8:40 a.m. Keynote Address

Irene Lozano. Secretary of State for Global Spain, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation

9:00 a.m. Spanish SMEs: Internationalization and Competitiveness

José Luis Bonet. President, Cámara de Comercio de España / Chairman, Freixenet

9:10 a.m. Taking the Pulse of the Spanish Economy: a Review of the Macroeconomic Indicators

Antonio Espasa. Chief Economist, Santander Bank
Jorge Sicilia. Chief Economist of BBVA Group and Director of BBVA Research
Moderator: Juan Manuel Benítez. Anchor/Reporter, Spectrum News NY1

10:30 a.m. The Response by Spanish Companies to Global Challenges

Santiago Alfonso. Global Marketing Director, Cosentino
Gemma Juncá. Marketing & Brand Director, Iberia
Ignacio Osborne. CEO, Osborne / Chairman, Leading Brands of Spain Forum
Moderator: Begoña Vizcaino. Deals Director / Spain Inbound Leader, PwC US

11:30 a.m. Spain: Destination of Choice for International Investors

María Jesús Fernández. Executive Director, Invest in Spain


Santiago Alfonso Global Marketing Director Cosentino
Show bio

Santiago Alfonso

With a degree in Law and a master’s in Business Administration from San Telmo International Institute, Santiago Alfonso joined Cosentino in 1990 and was responsible for developing the launch strategy for the Silestone® by Cosentino brand. Prior to this, he held the posts of Sales Director and Export Director of the company. A well-known speaker on topics relating to marketing and the internationalisation of companies in various Spanish universities, Alfonso has taken part in numerous conferences and events, and represents the Cosentino Group in the Leading Brands of Spain Forum (FMRE), where he is also a member of the Board of Directors. In addition, he was recently appointed Vice-President of the Kitchen Furniture Association (AMC), and founded the Almería Marketing Club, of which he is Chairman. Alfonso has just been named “Best Marketing Professional” in Spain by the Spanish Marketing Association.

José Luis Bonet President / Honorary President Cámara de Comercio de España / Freixenet
Show bio

José Luis Bonet

Born in Barcelona in 1941, two apparently different worlds converge in Jose Luis Bonet, which he has not only succeeded to combine, but to complement: the academic and business worlds. Doctor of Law Summa Cum Laude from the University of Barcelona and Extraordinary Doctorate Award 1976/1977, Jose Luis Bonet was, for 49 years, professor of Politics and Public Treasury at the Faculty of Law of the University of Barcelona. Concurrently, in the business world, since his appointment in 1966 as Commercial Manager of Freixenet, Jose Luis Bonet has participated directly in the growth and expansion of this family business until reaching the Presidency in 1999. He is currently the President of Honor of the Group. Convinced that internationalization is still a pending area of the Spanish economy and its businesses, Bonet has lead several organizations, whose end mission is to foster and raise awareness about the importance of increasing the presence of Spanish brands in foreign markets. He has presided, for 14 years, from 2004 to 2018, the Board of Directors of Fira International in Barcelona. He is also President of Honor of the AMRE (Association of Renowned Spanish Brands), after presiding the association for 16 years. Since November 2014, he is the President of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce, a public law corporation whose mission is to represent, promote and defend the general interests of Spanish companies. It is composed of the most representative entities of the corporate and financial life of the country: large companies, local and international Chambers of Commerce, business organizations and the Public Administration.

Antonio Espasa Managing Director and Chief Economist Europe Santander Corporate & Investment Banking
Show bio

Antonio Espasa

Antonio Espasa Mateos is currently the European chief economist and managing director at Santander Corporate and Investment Banking. He is Santander Group Vice President. He has previously worked for Bankinter, Ahorro Corporación and Banco Santander as an analyst for fixed income, derivatives, forex, equity strategy and economics. He was head of economics and European equity strategy in Santander Equities (Santander Global Banking and Markets). He has been ranked as a top analyst by Institutional Investors and Extel in Spanish economics and the number one analyst covering Spain –all sectors- by Extel in 2012, 2013, 2014 (2º), 2015 and 2018. He has a degree in economics, quantitative analysis, from the Universidad Alicante in Spain and a masters in financial markets from IES-CEU in Madrid. Antonio has also completed the management development program PDD at the IE Business School in Madrid.

María Jesús Fernández Executive Director Invest in Spain
Show bio

María Jesús Fernández

María J. Fernández is Executive Director at ICEX-Invest in Spain, where she also served as Director of Financing and Investor Relations. Previously she served as Trade Commissioner of Spain in Chicago for five years and Director General for International Financing at the Ministry of Economy and Finance for two years. During her extensive professional career, she has also held senior positions at the Bank of Spain, where she was Head of the International Relations Division and Head of the European Affairs Division; at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, where she represented Spain at the Executive Board as Senior Advisor and Alternate Executive Director respectively; and at the Defense of Competition Tribunal, where she was Head of the President’s Office and Deputy Director of the Studies Department.

Irene Lozano Secretary of State for Global Spain Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation of Spain
Show bio

Irene Lozano

Born in Madrid in 1971, Irene Lozano Domingo holds a degree in Linguistics and a diploma in Philosophy. She was the founder and director of the practical philosophy school “The Thinking Campus” and teacher of Professional Ethics at the CUNEF, as well as a member of the European Council of Foreign Relations (ECFR). A writer and journalist, she received the Ensayo Award in 2005 for her book Lenguas en Guerra [Languages at War]. Her latest book is a novel entitled Si Sufrir Fuera Sencillo [If Suffering Were Simple]. She is the author of several books of essays, including: Lecciones para el inconformista aturdido en tres horas y cuarto [Lessons for the Stunned Nonconformist in Three Hours and a Quarter], El Saqueo de la Imaginación [The Looting of Imagination] and Lenguaje Femenino, Lenguaje Masculino [Feminine Language, Masculine Language]. She also wrote the biography Federica Montseny, una Anarquista en el Poder [Federica Montseny, an Anarchist in Power]. As a journalist she has collaborated with international media such as the Swedish newspaper Expressen and BBC Radio. She has published hundreds of articles in the major Spanish newspapers (El País, El Mundo, ABC and its cultural supplement ABCD) as well as in intellectual journals such as Claves, Revista de Occidente and Letras Libres.

Gemma Juncá Marketing and Brand Director Iberia
Show bio

Gemma Juncá

Degree in Advertising and PR (CENP) and executive MBA in Fashion Business Management (ISEM/University of Navarra). With more than 20 years’ experience in brand strategy and development, Gemma Juncá currently holds the post of Head of Marketing & Brand in IBERIA. For several years now, she has been enjoying the most challenging and ambitious experience of her career: the transformation of the Iberia brand; a rebranding that acts as a catalyst for change in the company’s culture, business, product, service model and digital transformation. As the head of marketing, Juncá oversees Iberia’s marketing strategy and planning in more than 48 markets in EMEA, North America, Latin America, Asia and, of course, Spain. Prior to this, she held senior positions in the areas of marketing, communications and branding in Telefónica and Movistar, as well as in various companies in the music industry and in advertising agencies such as Y&R and the Ogilvy group.

Ignacio Osborne CEO / Chairman Osborne / Leading Brands of Spain Forum
Show bio

Ignacio Osborne

Higher degree in Engineering (ICAI) and a master’s in Business Administration (AD-1) from San Telmo International Institute. Chairman of the Leading Brands of Spain Forum since May 2018, Ignacio Osborne took over as Chairman of the Osborne Group in May 2017, after holding the position of CEO since 1996. Osborne represents the sixth generation of Spain’s second oldest family-run business, which commenced operations in the late 18th century in Cádiz. Today, the food and beverage group is present in more than fifty countries, and Osborne’s brand portfolio features some of the world’s best-known premium Spanish brands, such as: Carlos I Solera Gran Reserva Brandy, Cinco Jotas Acorn-fed 100% Iberico Ham, Anís del Mono, Nordés Gin and the legendary Bodegas Montecillo Rioja wines. Osborne is also Chairman of the Spanish Spirits Federation (FEBE), a board member of Savencia, a member of Rabobank’s Advisory Board and Chairman of the BBVA Andalusian Regional Council.

Jorge Sicilia Chief Economist / Director BBVA Group / BBVA Research
Show bio

Jorge Sicilia

Currently Jorge Sicilia is Chief Economist of BBVA Group and Director of BBVA Research. He leads a global team of economists distributed around Europe, US, Hong Kong, Turkey, Mexico and South America devoted to economic and financial analysis. He is a member of BBVA’s ALCO. Previous to this position, Jorge Sicilia has been BBVA’s Chief Economist for North America supervising the teams conducting economic and regulatory analysis on the US and México; Principal Economist in the Monetary Policy Stance Division at the European Central Bank (ECB) in Frankfurt, Monetary and Financial Markets’ Chief Economist at BBVA in Madrid, Head of the Department of Economic and Monetary Studies in Argentaria, Head of Economic and Market Analysis in Analistas Financieros Internacionales (AFI) and Economist in the Economic Studies Department of the Spanish Antitrust Committee. He has given lectures on macroeconomics, financial markets and financial systems at CUNEF and Carlos III Universities in Madrid, as well as at post-graduate institutions, academic and non academic conferences, and central banks fora. He obtained the Degree in Quantitative Economics at Universidad Complutense de Madrid in 1992, and an MsC in Economics and Finance at CEMFI in 1994. He is author of several economic and financial papers published in specialized magazines. He was member of BBVA Bancomer’s foundation and a member of the Private Creditor-Investor Committee for Greece; and is now member of the Financial Studies Foundation at the ITAM.

Alan D. Solomont Chairman / Former United States Ambassador to Spain and Andorra Spain-U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Show bio

Alan D. Solomont

Alan D. Solomont, former United States ambassador to Spain and Andorra and a lifelong social and political activist, serves as the Pierre and Pamela Omidyar Dean of the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University. Before his posting to Madrid, Solomont chaired the bipartisan board of directors of the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency that oversees such domestic service programs as AmeriCorps, Learn and Serve America, VISTA and Senior Corps. He was first appointed to the board by President Clinton in 2000, reappointed by President George W. Bush in 2007 and elected chair in 2009. Like President Obama, who nominated him for the ambassadorship in the summer of 2009, Solomont as a young man worked as a community organizer, in the city of Lowell, Mass. Throughout his career, Solomont has embraced the ability of political activism and public service to benefit society. After graduating from Tufts with a B.A. in political science and urban studies, Solomont made his first trip to Spain on a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship for postgraduate study and travel abroad. He returned to his native Massachusetts to work as a community organizer in Lowell. His mother was a nurse at Boston City Hospital, and he earned a B.S. in nursing from the University of Lowell (now the University of Massachusetts Lowell) in 1977. Solomont spent much of his professional career in the health- and elder-care arenas. He built a network of elder-care facilities in New England as chair of Solomont Bailis Ventures. He invested in early-stage health-care companies and cofounded HouseWorks, a home-care company that helps seniors remain independent. He was also the founder and managing director of Angel Healthcare Investors. A longtime leader in the Democratic Party, Solomont got his first exposure to national politics as an undergraduate in 1968, when he worked as a page during the tumultuous Democratic National Convention in Chicago. Later, he served as the party’s national finance chair from 1997 to 1998, and he was an early supporter of Barack Obama’s bid for the presidency. He played key roles in the presidential campaigns of John Kerry, Al Gore, Bill Clinton and Michael Dukakis. Through the years, Solomont has remained deeply involved in Tufts. A trustee emeritus of the university, Solomont was the founding chair of the Tisch College board of advisors. To mark the 10th anniversary of the college in 2011, his friends and colleagues endowed the Alan D. Solomont Lecture in recognition of his leadership as an active citizen. Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, the first woman speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, gave the inaugural lecture. Other speakers have included United States Congressman and civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis.

Organized by

Sponsored by

Collaborating Entities

This site is registered on wpml.org as a development site.